My EMF Model 1982 in 38/357 is slicker than ..... It does not fail to load and is an accurate short range rifle. I also have a model 1894 in 45 colt and if you do not lever hard it jams. I have a friend that has a marlin .357 and it seems slick also.
I've shot the Marlin in .357 and an Uberti saddle ring carbine in the same caliber. They were in different environments, but the Uberti was the first lever action rifle I've ever shot. It wasn't as smooth as the Marlin, and you wanted to work the action fast, or a round would hang up as you were trying to close it for some reason. Maybe it was a maintenance thing...
The first time I shot the Uberti was at a stick floating fast down a river. For my first try at a lever gun, I found that it pointed very well, and that I find lever action to be very intuitive to use. I wasn't exactly Chuck Connors, but I shot the crap out of that stick and my rate of fire was almost as high as it would have been with a semi auto.
Ever since, I've wanted a lever gun. I liked the Marlin better, since it was smoother like I said. I've also had a good experience owning a Model 60 .22 from that company.
I have one of the Marlin cowboy lever actions in 45-70, it is very nice to shoot. But I have one of the Legacy sports brazilian made copys of the 1892 lever action in 45 long colt it is my favorite. The 45 colt one looks more like the one from long ago with it's case hardened reciever and octegon barrel. Plus the sound of the action is also a real thrill to hear plus it goes with my Charles Daily copy of a 1873 style colt six shooter.
We have a Marlin .357/.38 lever action, a real nice little rifle. Son used it in Cowboy Action matches. Had a Marlin .44 Magnum lever gun, friend has it now, a fine rifle. Still have a Win. Mod. 92 lever in .45 Long Colt. and a Win. Trapper Model 30-30.... Love lever guns
I don't have a .357 or .44mag., but I do have a Winchester 94AE in 30-30 with a Leupold Rifleman scope on it. IT's a sweet rifle. The Longest shot I have at my feeder is about 100 to 110 yards. So it's great for deer & hog.
With the Winchester super X,power-point ammo in 170gr, I can hold a 1.2" to 2" group (5 shot) @ 100 yrds. without any trouble.
The only problem I've had with it shooting is when I've used the Hornady Leverevolution ammo. I'll get 2 shots with in an inch, then the next shot or two will be out 4-5 inches.